Wesfarmers Managing Director Rob Scott on Climate Change

Interview transcript with Wesfarmers Managing Director, Rob Scott on climate change.

I think within Wesfarmers we are doing a lot and we've quite materially reduced our emissions in the last five years. So, if you look at the Paris Agreement and the commitments there, we would be on track to deliver on those commitments.

So, we are doing a lot. Can we do more? Of course we can. What's interesting is as we go through the really long list of all the things we can be doing, or we are doing in our businesses - whether it's LED lighting, solar on various stores, whether it’s renewable PPA Agreements, whether it’s investing in catalysts and other mitigation initiatives within our Ammonia Plant and chemicals businesses.

A lot of these things do make good sense financially. So, it's not just about reducing emissions it's also just reducing power costs and operating a lot more efficiently. And we should be doing more, and we will be doing more. I think it's important to recognise as well that we do operate in competitive environments and sometimes I think the dialogue or debate around climate change is not helpful.

And what I mean by that is I think you have two extremes - on one extreme we need to shut down every coal-fired power station today. Versus the other side which is climate change deniers. I think both sides of the debate are equally damaging for our country taking meaningful action. Now we've seen a bit of that play out in politics, we've seen the extremes, and the more that those extremes reign the less that is going to happen.

So, I think what we need is to start as a business and as a country, start to get focused on taking meaningful action and there's no silver bullet on this - it's doing hundreds and thousands of little things that collectively add up to making a really big difference.

That's the way we're trying to approach it, rather than joining the two extremes of the debate that are probably equally unhelpful.

Rob Scott

Managing Director

August 2019

Categories: environment people fy-19